In a place where little surprises the hardened political class, House Republicans sure found a way to raise eyebrows at the statehouse.
The idea to generate new revenue from the lottery – a program Republicans loathe and have restricted for years – to pay for teacher raises is the centerpiece of its budget plan.
Not only does it seem to run counter to the party’s conservative ideology, but it creates a fundamentally different budget from what the Senate and Gov. Pat McCrory proposed. It’s hard to imagine what the final product will look like now.
There’s plenty to explore. Here’s a dissection of the House proposal:
The biggest differences are over two of the most expensive obligations, education and Medicaid, the government insurance program for poor children and their parents, and elderly, blind and disabled people.
Democratic Rep. Rick Glazier of Fayetteville objected to the policy shift, saying the lottery was designed to supplement education funding. “We are now effectively supplanting it,” he said. “This is not what the lottery was intended to do.”
The statehouse is full of action. The House Finance Committee will take a look at the state budget before it goes to the full House Appropriations Committee at 10:30 a.m.
Other stories to watch: Senate Judiciary is taking up bills involving student records and the state’s business court at 9 a.m. in room 1027. Senate Education will discuss a bill to amend the rules for charter schools at 10 a.m. in room 544 LOB. The Senate Commerce committee will meet at 3:30 p.m. and consider two gubernatorial appointees.
The N.C. Rules Review Commission has been cast into the spotlight by the state legislature’s recent vote to allow drilling permits to be issued without waiting for lawmakers to vote on fracking standards. ...
The nine sitting rules commissioners were appointed by House and Senate Republican leaders who are eager for drilling to get underway, and fracking opponents say they don’t expect the rules commission to take action that would delay potential energy exploration. Find out who’s on the board here.
Would North Carolina’s current legislature pass an EPA, a Coastal Area Management Act, or a prescription drug plan? Not likely. ...
The theory, of course, is that the changes will lead to a more productive economy that will float all boats. One can only hope that this experiment in libertarian conservatism turns out to be worth the pain. Read more here.
This is the man who Gov. Pat McCrory nominated for an important position on a state board that decides worker's compensation cases and the distribution of the eugenics compensation fund. Read more here.
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No money in House budget for fracking tests. Read more here.
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Autism advocates push NC bill requiring insurers to cover treatment. Read more here.
Mayor Clodfelter follows lead of former Mayor McCrory. Read more here.